Posts Tagged lower limb

[ARTICLE] Sensory retraining of the leg after stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis – Full Text

This systematic review aimed to investigate the effects of interventions intended for retraining leg somatosensory function on somatosensory impairment, and secondary outcomes of balance and gait, after stroke.

Databases searched from inception to 16 January 2019 included Cochrane Library, PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PEDro, PsycINFO, and Scopus. Reference lists of relevant publications were also manually searched.

All types of quantitative studies incorporating interventions that intended to improve somatosensory function in the leg post stroke were retrieved. The Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies was used for quality appraisal. Standardised mean differences were calculated and meta-analyses were performed using preconstructed Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

The search yielded 16 studies, comprising 430 participants, using a diverse range of interventions. In total, 10 of the included studies were rated weak in quality, 6 were rated moderate, and none was rated strong. Study quality was predominantly affected by high risk of selection bias, lack of blinding, and the use of somatosensory measures that have not been psychometrically evaluated. A significant heterogeneous positive summary effect size (SES) was found for somatosensory outcomes (SES: 0.52; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.04 to 1.01; I2 = 74.48%), which included joint position sense, light touch, and two-point discrimination. There was also a significant heterogeneous positive SES for Berg Balance Scale scores (SES: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.10 to 1.14; I2 = 59.05%). Gait SES, mainly of gait velocity, was not significant.

This review suggests that interventions used for retraining leg somatosensory impairment after stroke significantly improved somatosensory function and balance but not gait.

 

Somatosensory impairment is common after stroke, occurring in up to 89% of stroke survivors.1Proprioception and tactile somatosensation are more impaired in the leg than in the arm post stroke,2 with the frequency increasing with increasing level of weakness and stroke severity.2,3 Leg somatosensory impairment also has a significant impact on independence in daily activities3 and activity participation in stroke survivors,4 as well as predicts longer hospital stays and lower frequency of home discharges.5

Leg somatosensory impairment negatively influences balance and gait. Post-stroke plantar tactile deficits correlate with lower balance scores and greater postural sway in standing.6 Tactile and proprioceptive feedback provide critical information about weight borne through the limb.7 Accordingly, tactile and proprioceptive somatosensory deficits may hinder paretic limb load detection ability, potentially leading to reduced weight-bearing and contributing to balance impairment and falls post stroke.8 Indeed, stroke survivors with somatosensory impairment have a higher falls incidence compared to those without somatosensory impairment.3 In addition to reduced balance, impaired load detection may also contribute to gait asymmetry, particularly in the push-off phase.8 In addition, leg proprioception influences variance in stride length, gait velocity,9 and walking endurance in stroke survivors.10 In fact, leg somatosensory impairment has been shown to be the third most important independent factor for reduced gait velocity in stroke survivors.11

Two systematic reviews have previously investigated the effects of interventions for retraining somatosensory function after stroke.12,13 In the first review, published more than a decade ago, only four of the 14 included studies targeted the leg,12 while the second only included studies of the arm.13 Nevertheless, both reviews reported that there were insufficient data to determine the effectiveness of these interventions. A third systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of proprioceptive training14 only included 16 studies with stroke-specific populations, of which only two specifically addressed the leg. From these three reviews, the effects of interventions for post-stroke leg somatosensory impairment remain unclear. In addition, the first review12 was critiqued for including studies with participants without somatosensory impairment, and that did not report somatosensory outcomes.15 Therefore, a targeted systematic review, addressing the limitations of previous reviews, is required to elucidate the effects of interventions for post-stroke leg somatosensory impairment.

It is of interest to clinicians and researchers to evaluate the effects of leg somatosensory retraining on factors that may ultimately influence activity and participation, as this could change practice. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to examine the effects of post-stroke leg somatosensory retraining on somatosensory impairment, balance, gait, motor impairment, and leg function.[…]

 

Continue —> Sensory retraining of the leg after stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis – Fenny SF Chia, Suzanne Kuys, Nancy Low Choy, 2019

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[Abstract] Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of lower limb motor function in patients with stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on the post-stroke recovery of lower limb motor function.

We searched the databases of PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase. The randomized controlled trials were published by 25 January 2019.

We included randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effects of rTMS on lower limb motor recovery in patients with stroke. Two reviewers independently screened the searched records, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias. The treatment effect sizes were pooled in a meta-analysis by using the RevMan 5.3 software. The internal validity was assessed using topics suggested by the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro).

Eight studies with 169 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled estimates demonstrated that rTMS significantly improved the body function of the lower limbs (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.66; P < 0.01), lower limb activity (SMD = 0.66; P < 0.01), and motor-evoked potential (SMD = 1.13; P < 0.01). The subgroup analyses results also revealed that rTMS improved walking speed (SMD = 1.13) and lower limb scores on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment scale (SMD = 0.63). We found no significant differences between the groups in different mean post-stroke time or stimulation mode over lower limb motor recovery. Only one study reported mild adverse effects.

rTMS may have short-term therapeutic effects on the lower limbs of patients with stroke. Furthermore, the application of rTMS is safe. However, this evidence is limited by a potential risk of bias.

 

via Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of lower limb motor function in patients with stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials – Yi-Chun Tung, Chien-Hung Lai, Chun-De Liao, Shih-Wei Huang, Tsan-Hon Liou, Hung-Chou Chen, 2019

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[ARTICLE] Validation of a Kinect V2 based rehabilitation game – Full Text

Abstract

Interactive technologies are beneficial to stroke recovery as rehabilitation interventions; however, they lack evidence for use as assessment tools. Mystic Isleis a multi-planar full-body rehabilitation game developed using the Microsoft Kinect® V2. It aims to help stroke patients improve their motor function and daily activity performance and to assess the motions of the players. It is important that the assessment results generated from Mystic Isle are accurate. The Kinect V2 has been validated for tracking lower limbs and calculating gait-specific parameters. However, few studies have validated the accuracy of the Kinect® V2 skeleton model in upper-body movements. In this paper, we evaluated the spatial accuracy and measurement validity of a Kinect-based game Mystic Isle in comparison to a gold-standard optical motion capture system, the Vicon system. Thirty participants completed six trials in sitting and standing. Game data from the Kinect sensor and the Vicon system were recorded simultaneously, then filtered and sample rate synchronized. The spatial accuracy was evaluated using Pearson’s r correlation coefficient, signal to noise ratio (SNR) and 3D distance difference. Each arm-joint signal had an average correlation coefficient above 0.9 and a SNR above 5. The hip joints data had less stability and a large variation in SNR. Also, the mean 3D distance difference of joints were less than 10 centimeters. For measurement validity, the accuracy was evaluated using mean and standard error of the difference, percentage error, Pearson’s r correlation coefficient and intra-class correlation (ICC). Average errors of maximum hand extent of reach were less than 5% and the average errors of mean and maximum velocities were about 10% and less than 5%, respectively. We have demonstrated that Mystic Isle provides accurate measurement and assessment of movement relative to the Vicon system.

Introduction

In the past decade and quite rapidly in the past five years, Natural User Interfaces (NUIs) and video games have grown in popularity in both consumer applications and in healthcare []. Specifically, physical rehabilitation (e.g., physical and occupational therapy) has embraced novel NUI applications in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and the community []. Robotic systems have long included game-based and NUI-based user interfaces and most robotic devices provide some form of physical assistance to the patient and/or haptic feedback []. With the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2008, many NUI applications for healthcare moved away from bulky, expensive robotics and embraced the portable nature of movement and gesture recognition devices and systems. One of the biggest breakthroughs for this field came in 2010 when Microsoft released the Kinect sensor to accompany its Xbox console system. Within days and weeks of the Kinect’s release, hackers, universities, and companies began to exploit its markerless movement sensing abilities for educational and healthcare use. Since then, there has been an exponential increase in the number of studies that report the use of the Kinect as the input device for a NUI-based rehabilitation game or feedback application [].

In 2014, Jintronix was the first company to receive FDA approval for its rehabilitation game system that uses the Microsoft Kinect. There are a number of similar companies that utilize the Kinect sensor including SeeMee [], VirtualRehab [], Reflexion Health [], MIRA [], MotionCare360 [], and 5Plus Therapy []. Many of these systems are marketed for delivering rehabilitation therapy in the home setting. This type of delivery is termed “tele-rehabilitation” and can involve remote monitoring by the therapist or virtual sessions over teleconferencing software []. For telerehabilitation or remote sessions, it is imperative that the data the therapist receives from the system or movement-sensing device (such as the Microsoft Kinect) are accurate and reliable. If the therapist plans to use the data for documentation or for reimbursement from a health insurance company, the data ought to be as accurate as current clinical tools (e.g., goniometers).

Only one of the listed companies has validated the measurement capabilities of their systems and of the Microsoft Kinect. Kurillo and colleagues evaluated their system used in 5Plus Therapy against the Impulse motion-capture system (PhaseSpace Inc., San Leandro, CA) and found that it had good accuracy of joint positions and small to large percentage errors in joint angle measurements []. However, this study had a small sample size of only 10 subjects and used the first version of the Kinect sensor in its validation. Additionally, the movements used in the assessment were only within a single plane for each movement and all participants were seated during data collection.

Other researchers have validated the Kinect’s measurement and tracking capabilities for both general and specific applications. Hondori and Khademi [] provide an excellent summary of the work completed prior to 2014. It should be noted that all of these studies evaluated the first version of the Kinect. Following the release of the Kinect V2 sensor, most researchers have focused their validation efforts on gait and posture applications []. The Kinect V2 has good-to-excellent tracking and measurement capabilities for gait-specific parameters and clinical outcomes. However, many of these studies tracked only the lower limbs. Furthermore, gait is a relatively consistent, rhythmic motion that is consistent across participants, even in rehabilitation populations (i.e., one foot in front of the other). The full-body movements that participants are not limited to specific planes and could choose to use either hand have not been studied in current and prior comparisons of the Microsoft Kinect and optical marker-based motion capture systems.

We have developed software called Mystic Isle that utilizes the Microsoft Kinect V2 sensor as the input device []. Mystic Isle is designed as a rehabilitation game and has shown good results in improving motor function and daily activity performance in persons with chronic stroke []. The software initially used the first version (V1) of the Microsoft Kinect as the input device and we completed a study that compared it to the OptiTrack optical system []. Based on a visual analysis, we demonstrated that for the hand and elbow, the Kinect V1 has good accuracy in calculating trajectory of movement. For the shoulder, the Kinect V1 tracking abilities limit its validity. Although these findings are promising, the types and number of movements used in the study were limited to those in a seated position and mostly in one plane of movement (e.g., sagittal). Furthermore, the tracking capabilities of the Kinect V2 have substantially improved in the past 7 years and include more data points (joints) for comparison.

The current Mystic Isle game involves multi-planar, full body movements. Designed for individuals with diverse abilities, games can be played in a sitting or standing position, depending on the therapy treatment plan. In standing, the player is able to move around in the 3-dimensional space, akin to real-world rehabilitation. Few studies have evaluated the tracking and measurement capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect V2 for full-body, multi-planar movements in both sitting and standing. The purpose of this study was to determine the spatial accuracy and measurement validity of the Microsoft Kinect V2 sensor in a NUI rehabilitation game in comparison to a gold-standard marker-based motion capture system (Vicon).

Materials and methods

Participants

Participants were recruited via convenience sample at the University of Missouri- Columbia campus. Participants were included if they: 1) were over the age of 18, 2) could understand conversational English, and 3) had no medical conditions which prevented them from playing video games. The study has been approved by the Health Sciences Institutional Review Board at the University of Missouri with the approval number IRB 2005896 HS. All potential participants were screened and all subjects provided written informed consent before beginning the study.

Mystic Isle

Mystic Isle is a platform for rehabilitation that allows a user to interact with a virtual environment by using their body (Fig 1). The Mystic Isle software was created in Unity 3D and Mystic Isle allows the tracked user to interact with virtual environments and objects in a 3-D world. Using Mystic Isle, specific movements, distances, and locations of objects can be tailored to the abilities and requirements of the user. The system uses the Microsoft Kinect V2 camera to track participant movements. The Kinect V2 tracks 20 discrete points/joints on the body of the user. Both gross motor (stepping, jumping, squatting) and fine motor (waving the hand, turning the palm facing up, open/close hand) movements can be tracked. The Kinect V2 tracks the user in 3-dimensional space and then inputs the data in real time to the associated software, Mystic Isle. The Kinect V2 tracks and records the x, y, and z coordinates (and confidence) of each discrete joint at either 15 or 30 frames per second.

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Fig 1
Mystic Isle game environment.(a) A virtual avatar collecting targets in a Kinect-based rehabilitation game, Mystic Isle. (b) A participant playing the game with Vicon markers on the body. Joint data of game trials were recorded by a Kinect and the Vicon system for validation.

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Continue —>  Validation of a Kinect V2 based rehabilitation game

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[Abstract] Mirror therapy for improving lower limb motor function and mobility after stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mirror therapy has been proposed as an effective intervention for lower limb rehabilitation post stroke.

RESEARCH QUESTION:

This systematic review with meta-analysis examined if lower limb mirror therapy improved the primary outcome measures of muscle tone and motor function and the secondary outcome measures balance characteristics, functional ambulation, walking velocity, passive range of motion (PROM) for ankle dorsiflexion and gait characteristics in patients with stroke compared to other interventions.

METHODS:

Standardised mean differences (SMD) and mean differences (MD) were used to assess the effect of mirror therapy on lower limb functioning.

RESULTS:

Nine studies were included in the review. Among the primary outcome measures there was evidence of a significant effect of mirror therapy on motor function compared with sham and non-sham interventions (SMD 0.54; 95% CI 0.24-0.93). Furthermore, among the secondary outcome measures there was evidence of a significant effect of mirror therapy for balance capacity (SMD -0.55; 95% CI -1.01 to -0.10), walking velocity (SMD 0.71; 95% CI 0.35-1.07), PROM for ankle dorsiflexion (SMD 1.20; 95% CI 0.71-1.69) and step length (SMD 0.56; 95% CI -0.00 to 1.12).

SIGNIFICANCE:

The results indicate that using mirror therapy for the treatment of certain lower limb deficits in patients with stroke may have a positive effect. Although results are somewhat positive, overly favourable interpretation is cautioned due to methodological issues concerning included studies.

via Mirror therapy for improving lower limb motor function and mobility after stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis. – PubMed – NCBI

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[Abstract] Effects of isokinetic muscle strengthening on muscle strength, mobility, and gait in post-stroke patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

To investigate whether isokinetic muscle strengthening improves muscle strength, mobility, and gait in post-stroke patients.

We searched for randomized controlled trials at PubMed/Medline, SciELO, PEDro, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, from the earliest date available to June 2018. Randomized controlled trials that examined the effects of isokinetic muscle strengthening versus other rehabilitation interventions or control in post-stroke patients were included. Study quality was evaluated using the PEDro scale. Weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated, and heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 test.

In total, 13 studies (347 patients) focusing on the use of isokinetic in rehabilitation following stroke were included. All trials were of low-to-moderate quality. Isokinetic muscle strengthening improved muscle strength WMD 0.8 (95% CI: 0.2, 1.4; N = 96), mobility WMD −2.03 seconds (95% CI: −2.9, −1.1; N = 111) and gait speed WMD 0.9 m/s (95% CI: 0.05, 1.8; N = 87).

Isokinetic muscle strengthening seems to be a useful strategy for improving muscle strength, mobility, and gait in post-stroke patients.

 

via Effects of isokinetic muscle strengthening on muscle strength, mobility, and gait in post-stroke patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis – Sarah Souza Pontes, Ana Louise Reis de Carvalho, Katna de Oliveira Almeida, Murilo Pires Neves, Ingara Fernanda Silva Ribeiro Schindler, Iura Gonzalez Nogueira Alves, Fabio Luciano Arcanjo, Mansueto Gomes-Neto, 2018

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[Abstract] Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on spasticity in adults with stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract

Objectives

1. To determine the effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on post-stroke spasticity. 2a. To determine the effect of different parameters (intensity, frequency, and duration) of TENS on spasticity reduction in adults with stroke; 2b. To determine the influence of time since stroke on the effectiveness of TENS on spasticity.

Data sources

PubMed, PEDro, CINAHL, Web of Science, CENTRAL and EMBASE databases were searched from inception to March 2017.

Study Selection

Randomized controlled trial (RCT), quasi RCT and non-RCT were included if: (a) they evaluated the effects of TENS for the management of spasticity in participants with acute/sub-acute/chronic stroke using clinical and neurophysiological tools; and (b) TENS was delivered either alone or as an adjunct to other treatments.

Data extraction

Two authors independently screened and extracted data from 15 of the 829 studies retrieved through the search using a pilot tested pro-forma. Disagreements were resolved through discussion with other authors. Quality of studies was assessed using Cochrane risk of bias criteria.

Data synthesis

Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model which showed (a) TENS along with other physical therapy treatments was more effective in reducing spasticity in the lower limbs compared to placebo TENS (SMD -0.64, 95% CI -0.98 to -0.31; p = 0.0001; I2 =17%); and (b) TENS, when administered along with other physical therapy treatments, was effective in reducing spasticity when compared to other physical therapy interventions alone (SMD -0.83, 95% CI -1.51 to -0.15; p =0.02; I2 = 27%). There were limited studies to evaluate the effectiveness of TENS for upper limb spasticity.

Conclusion

There is strong evidence that TENS as an adjunct is effective in reducing lower limb spasticity when applied for more than 30 minutes over nerve or muscle belly in chronic stroke survivors. (Review protocol registered at PROSPERO: CRD42015020151).

 

via Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on spasticity in adults with stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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[Abstract] The Efficacy of Lower Extremity Mirror Therapy for Improving Balance, Gait, and Motor Function Poststroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract

Background

Mirror therapy is less commonly used to target the lower extremity after stroke to improve outcomes but is simple to perform. This review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the efficacy of lower extremity mirror therapy in improving balance, gait, and motor function for individuals with stroke.

Methods

PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and PsychINFO were searched from inception to May 2018 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing lower extremity mirror therapy to a control intervention for people with stroke. Pooled effects were determined by separate meta-analyses of gait speed, mobility, balance, and motor recovery.

Results

Seventeen RCTs involving 633 participants were included. Thirteen studies reported a significant between-group difference favoring mirror therapy in at least one lower extremity outcome. In a meta-analysis of 6 trials that reported change in gait speed, a large beneficial effect was observed following mirror therapy training (standardized mean differences [SMD] = 1.04 [95% confidence interval [CI] = .43, 1.66], I2 = 73%, and P < .001). Lower extremity mirror therapy also had a positive effect on mobility (5 studies, SMD = .46 [95% CI = .01, .90], I2 = 43%, and P = .05) and motor recovery (7 studies, SMD = .47 [95% CI = .21, .74], I2 = 0%, and P < .001). A significant pooled effect was not found for balance capacity.

Conclusions

Mirror therapy for the lower extremity has a large effect for gait speed improvement. This review also found a small positive effect of mirror therapy for mobility and lower extremity motor recovery after stroke.

 

via The Efficacy of Lower Extremity Mirror Therapy for Improving Balance, Gait, and Motor Function Poststroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis – Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases

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[Abstract] Effects of robot-(Morning Walk®) assisted gait training for patients after stroke: a randomized controlled trial

To investigate the effects of Morning Walk®–assisted gait training for patients with stroke.

Prospective randomized controlled trial.

Three hospital rehabilitation departments (two tertiary and one secondary).

We enrolled 58 patients with hemiparesis following a first-time stroke within the preceding year and with Functional Ambulation Category scores ⩾2.

The patients were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: 30 minutes of training with Morning Walk®, a lower limb rehabilitation robot, plus 1 hour of conventional physiotherapy (Morning Walk® group; n = 28); or 1.5 hour of conventional physiotherapy (control group; n = 30). All received treatment five times per week for three weeks.

The primary outcomes were walking ability, assessed using the Functional Ambulation Category scale, and lower limb function, assessed using the Motricity Index-Lower. Secondary outcomes included the 10 Meter Walk Test, Modified Barthel Index, Rivermead Mobility Index, and Berg Balance Scale scores.

A total of 10 patients were lost to follow-up, leaving a cohort of 48 for the final analyses. After training, all outcome measures significantly improved in both groups. In Motricity Index-Lower of the affected limb, the Morning Walk® group (∆mean ± SD; 19.68 ± 14.06) showed greater improvement (p = .034) than the control group (∆mean ± SD; 11.70 ± 10.65). And Berg Balance Scale scores improved more (p = .047) in the Morning Walk®group (∆mean ± SD; 14.36 ± 9.01) than the control group (∆mean ± SD; 9.65 ± 8.14).

Compared with conventional physiotherapy alone, our results suggest that voluntary strength and balance of stroke patients with hemiparesis might be improved with Morning Walk®–assisted gait training combined with conventional physiotherapy.

 

via Effects of robot-(Morning Walk®) assisted gait training for patients after stroke: a randomized controlled trial – JaYoung Kim, Dae Yul Kim, Min Ho Chun, Seong Woo Kim, Ha Ra Jeon, Chang Ho Hwang, Jong Kyoung Choi, Suhwan Bae, 2018

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[WEB SITE] Advances in robotics help patients with neurorecovery – Video

https://youtu.be/Qq9H8-fR23M

For the first time in over 14 months, 57-year-old paraplegic Greg Foti is feeling sensation in his legs.

“My mind is sending the signals down to my legs to walk, and actually I’m now getting the positive feedback to my brain saying, ‘yeah, we’re walking,’” Foti, a patient at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, said.

These precious steps are thanks to a robot called the Lokomat. It is one of 13 new pieces of robotics at the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation’s Klinghoffer Neurorecovery Center. These machines are changing the future of physical and cognitive therapies.

“These machines can help people do the necessary exercises so many more times in a short period of time, so the brain is rewiring. They’re getting the benefit. Patients are enthusiastic. They’re engaged in the process,” said MJ Perskie, vice president of marketing and business development for Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation.

Combined with conventional physical therapy, robotics are proving longer-lasting and farther-reaching results. Patients like Foti, who suffered from blood flowing to his spinal cord after a surgery, go through a carefully curated series of robotics, starting with a standing frame.

“From there they go to the Erigo where they’ll start to have their lower legs move and they can help that movement, as well as be in an upright, standing position,” said Jessica Cybulski, a physical therapist at Bacharach. “From there, they’ll go to the Lokomat where they have their lower extremities move for them, and again, assist in that walking motion.”

Eventually they move on their own with what’s called the Andago.

“The idea is the more I do this, the more I continue to improve the communication. And once I get past the communication blocks, there’s nothing to stop me from walking,” Foti said.

For 18-year-old Anthony Marquez, who injured his spine at a trampoline park, the interactive therapy with a Armeo robotic arm gives him extra motivation.

“When I get two stars it pushes me to get the third one, which is the highest you can get,” said Marquez.

A robot called Myro is like a life-size iPad where you have to match images. It’s all about cognitive rehabilitation and making sure it’s interactive and customized for each patient.

It’s helping patients recovering from stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord or other neurological impairments.

“I mean, I couldn’t move my shoulders at first to now being able to move my arms. It’s kind of crazy,” said Marquez.

Seeing him like that gives his mother, Lori Weed, hope.

“It does, a lot of hope, seeing him moving things that we thought he never would move before,” she said.

And setting sights higher than they’d thought before.

 

via Advances in robotics help patients with neurorecovery | Video | NJTV News

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[ARTICLE] Interventions involving repetitive practice improve strength after stroke: a systematic review – Full Text

Abstract

Questions

Do interventions involving repetitive practice improve strength after stroke? Are any improvements in strength accompanied by improvements in activity?

Design

Systematic review of randomised trials with meta-analysis.

Participants

Adults who have had a stroke.

Intervention

Any intervention involving repetitive practice compared with no intervention or a sham intervention.

Outcome measures

The primary outcome was voluntary strength in muscles trained as part of the intervention. The secondary outcomes were measures of lower limb and upper limb activity.

Results

Fifty-two studies were included. The overall SMD of repetitive practice on strength was examined by pooling post-intervention scores from 46 studies involving 1928 participants. The SMD of repetitive practice on strength when the upper and lower limb studies were combined was 0.25 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.34, I2 = 44%) in favour of repetitive practice. Twenty-four studies with a total of 912 participants investigated the effects of repetitive practice on upper limb activity after stroke. The SMD was 0.15 (95% CI 0.02 to 0.29, I2 = 50%) in favour of repetitive practice on upper limb activity. Twenty studies with a total of 952 participants investigated the effects of repetitive practice on lower limb activity after stroke. The SMD was 0.25 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.38, I2 = 36%) in favour of repetitive practice on lower limb activity.

Conclusion

Interventions involving repetitive practice improve strength after stroke, and these improvements are accompanied by improvements in activity.

Introduction

The loss of strength after stroke is a common and important impairment. The average strength of the affected upper and lower limb in people who have had a significant stroke ranges from 30 to 50% of age-matched controls.1, 2, 3, 4 This loss of strength can result in profound activity limitations5, 6, 7 and participation restrictions.8Therefore, it is important to know which interventions are effective for improving strength after stroke. Progressive resistance training is commonly used to improve strength in people without disability9 and can be used to improve strength in people after stroke.10 Progressive resistance training is characterised by muscles working at high loads with low repetitions, that is, a load of 8 to 12 repetitions maximum (RM) for at least two sets with a progressive increase in the load.9 However, progressive resistance training is not commonly used after stroke, and often when strengthening programs claim to be using progressive resistance training they are not adhering to the guidelines.11 This may be because progressive resistance training is time-consuming to set up and difficult to implement in people with very weak muscles. In contrast, repetitive practice of tasks can be set up with minimal equipment and modified so that even people with very weak muscles can do some form of training.

Repetitive practice of tasks, such as walking, reaching and manipulation of objects, is a major component of rehabilitation after stroke. Some interventions used to promote repetitive practice include constraint-induced movement therapy, treadmill walking with body-weight support, or robotic devices. These interventions are typically performed with an emphasis on high repetitions and no added resistance to movement; hence, the principles of repetitive practice are very different to the principles of progressive resistance training. Repetitive practice is known to be effective for reducing activity limitations, with many systematic reviews confirming this.12,13, 14, 15 However, less is known about the effects of repetitive practice on strength after stroke, and no systematic reviews have specifically investigated this issue. Eight systematic reviews with meta-analyses have investigated the effects of strengthening interventions on strength after stroke. These reviews included studies that used progressive resistance training10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 or an artificial drive of muscle contraction21, 22 (ie, electrical stimulation without attempts to move a limb) as an intervention and did not focus specifically on repetitive practice. Since repetitive practice is widely used and recommended in rehabilitation after stroke,23 it is important to understand if interventions involving repetitive practice are effective for improving strength.

Therefore, the research questions for this systematic review were:

  • 1. Do interventions involving repetitive practice improve strength after stroke?
  • 2. Are any improvements in strength accompanied by improvements in activity?

Continue —> Interventions involving repetitive practice improve strength after stroke: a systematic review – Journal of Physiotherapy

Figure 1

Figure 1
Flow of studies through the review.
a Studies may have been excluded for failing to meet more than one inclusion criterion.

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